Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Reading List 2012

I love to read but this last year I sure didn't do enough reading. : (  So, for 2012 I've made a list of 24 books to read (2 per month) and I'm going to try to get through them all! : )  I went through our bookshelves and found 24 books that I haven't read yet - surprisingly, it was hard to find that many!

We'll be having our baby in March so I don't know if I'll be able to read as much, more or less that month.  It will be so fun to be a Mommy to 2!!! : )

Here's my To-Read book list, not in order. : )

First (and most important) I have a goal of reading the whole Bible in a year using this Chronological plan with my husband.  We might end up listening to it more than actual reading during meals, etc but it will be neat to read the Bible chronologically.  I've read the New Testament many times that way but never the whole Bible!

1. We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon's Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven – Randy Alcorn
2. Guide to Missouri Vegetable Gardening (Vegetable Gardening Guides) – James A. Fizzell
3. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate – Jerry Bridges
4. Greater Love (Tides of Truth, Book 3) – Robert Witlow
5. Truth Endures: Landmark Sermons from Forty Years of Unleashing God's Truth One Verse at a Time - John Macarthur
6. Hungry for God: Hearing God's Voice in the Ordinary and the Everyday – Margaret Feinberg
7. Leave It to Chance – Sherri Sand
8. False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? – Warren B Smith
9. The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace – Warren Smith
10. The Missional Mom: Living with Purpose at Home & in the World – Hellen Lee
11. Sisters of the Quilt: The Complete Trilogy – Cindy Woodsmall
12. Walking Worthy As A Son Of God (Walking Worthy Series, Volume 1) – Norm Wakefield
13. Walking Worthy As a Husband (Walking Worthy Series, volume 2) – Norm Wakefield
14. Walking Worthy As a Father (Walking Worthy Series, Volume 3) – Norm Wakefield
15. Walking Worthy As a Provider (Walking Worthy Series, Volume 4) – Norm Wakefield
16. Walking Worthy As a Member of the Body of Christ (Walking Worthy Series, Volume 5) – Norm Wakefield
17. Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) – Janet & Geoff Benge
18. Just Like Jesus: Learning to Have a Heart Like His (The Bestseller Collection) – Max Lucado
19. The Normal Christian Life – Watchman Nee
20. Prison to Praise – Merlin Carothers
21. I Love My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working from Home – Kristie Tamsevicius
22. Beyond All Measure (A Hickory Ridge Romance) – Dorothy Love
23. The Maker's Diet - Jordan S. Rubin
24. The Miracle of Fasting - Proven Throughout History - Patricia & Paul Bragg

I know that the Walking Worthy Series is written for men but I personally know Norm Wakefield and everything I've read by him has been so good!  I'm expecting these books 'for men' will be great even for a woman, I'm actually really looking forward to reading them!! : )

These are 2 devotionals that I'm going to try to be diligent to read in 2012!

Joy: A Godly Woman's Adornment (On-The-Go Devotionals) – Lydia Brownback
God's Promises Devotional Journal: 365 Days of Experiencing the Lord's Blessings

What are you planning on reading in 2012?  Have you read any of the books on my list?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Free Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions

Many of you have expressed interest about coconut oil as I use it in almost all of my recipes.  If you'd like to try some Tropical Traditions is offering 1 free quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to each customer, until the 26th if you place an order of $16 or more, you can read more details on their site! :)

FREE Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 1 quart - Christmas Gift

Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

These are the best flourless cookies I've ever made.  They are perfect & much healthier than 'regular' peanut butter cookies!  You wouldn't even know that they didn't have flour in them!  A great Gluten-Free option!  My family isn't gluten free but cutting out more unneeded grains is always something I don't mind doing! :)  You can make these with any type of peanut butter you like crunchy or smooth - the original recipe uses chocolate peanut butter.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips. Roll about a tablespoon of dough into a ball and arrange on the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing 2 inches apart. Continue rolling the dough until it’s gone. Refrigerate any left over dough that isn’t being baked right then.

Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the bottom and still soft to touch in center.

Remove from cookie sheets and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

* Recipe adapted from Style & Grace

Linking with:
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Raising Mighty Arrows
Our Simple Country Life
The Modest Mom

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BabyLegs Sale - 75% off if you spend $75 or more!

BabyLegs Leg Warmers, Baby Socks and Girls Tights

Did you miss my BabyLegs giveaway earlier this month?  If so, BabyLegs is having a huge sale right now and it would be a great time to buy!  I just love their socks! :)

BabyLegs is celebrating the holidays by offering their customers a 75% off $75 or more sale! From now until 12/28/11, take 75% off all orders $75 or more using code JOLLY75. And like always, they are doing free shipping on orders of $30 or more after discount.

They are also offering express shipping to get your order by Christmas. Orders need to be received by 12:00pm PST on 12/21 for 2-Day and 12/22 for Overnight.

I placed my order last night and it's already shipped! :)   You get $80 worth of product for only $20 with this discount!! :)

**This post contains my affiliate links.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Honeymoon Baby

Today's society says that children are nuisances. They make life harder and cost lots of money.  The Bible says much on children and the blessing they are.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalms 127:3

Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; Genesis 1:28 

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. Psalms 128:3

Her children rise up and call her blessed; Proverbs 31:28 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

My husband and I were married for under a month before we found out that we were expecting our first child.  It didn't come as much of a surprise to us as we had decided before our marriage that we would allow the Lord to determine when we were ready to have children and how many children we would have.  We were so overjoyed to be blessed with a precious baby so soon!  We had been taught by our wonderful parents the amazing treasure and blessing each and every child is.

Many would probably say our choice to have children so early in our marriage was a bad one.  We should have spent more married time as 'just a couple' and not had the distraction of having a baby there.  Learning more about each other and married life.
But, my husband and I can't image our lives any other way.  Our first born son, born 8 months after our wedding (born at 37 weeks - 3 weeks early) has brought us so much joy and taught us so many priceless lessons!
I don't have my house spotlessly clean everyday, toys are often spread out on our floor, laundry is never caught up, and we didn't/don't have fancy romantic dinners every night, but I have an adorable little son to train and teach the ways of the Lord to.

And having a child hasn't brought stress to our marriage - it has strengthened it!  It hasn't separated my husband and I - it has brought us closer.  It has taught my husband and I how to seek the Lord for strength and courage for the rough times and to thank and praise Him for the many blessings and fun times!!

Today as I played with my now 15 month old - I was thinking about all the little and big things we would have missed if we didn't allow the Lord to bless us with him early in our marriage.
I wouldn't have been hearing his precious laugh today as I was playing peek-a-boo with him.
I wouldn't be hearing his sweet little voice say "Momma" & "Dadda" everyday.
I wouldn't be getting kisses from him at nap time and bed time - and other times spread out the day.
I wouldn't be seeing him play with his horses for hours and then say "horse" for the first time.
I wouldn't have the hundreds of pictures of him that I've already taken.
I wouldn't have learned first hand the joys of motherhood and the preciousness of a newborn in your arms.

Children are a huge responsibility and a precious soul that takes much time and love to train - but in every way worth it!  The scripture promises that if we do our jobs as parents right our children will not depart from the training.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

In March we will be welcoming a second child to our house - as I carry this child and feel it move I am overjoyed for the blessing it will be and we're excitedly waiting for it's arrival.

Two years ago on Christmas Day we found out we were expecting our first blessing from the Lord, our lives have been forever changed and when we are old we will be happy & blessed!

Growing Home

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review - For Men Only

I know that almost/all my readers are women but this book was just so good!  It's not necessarily "For Men Only" as in many ways this book would help a woman compare and understand how her husband takes the things she does and says.  I have asked my husband (Daniel) if he'd write a review of this book - since it is written for men. : )

For Men Only
By: Shaunti Feldhahn
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Multnomah Publishers, Inc.
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.00 (inches)

I enjoyed reading this book as it is filled with insightful details about the inner life (or might I say confusing life) of a woman. When Tabitha first showed me this book I knew it was a must. I have read many marriage books, so I thought to myself “I won’t learn much”, man was I WRONG! I learned so much that I am going to be reading it again & probably even visiting a few chapters a 3rd time (mainly the chapter on listening). I found that the area I thought I was an expert in; I was not even close to understanding (can you guess what I am thinking of?). Have you ever had your wife tell you that you aren’t listening when you have listened and are now trying to “solve” her “problem”? I sure have, but there is hope! I learned that she really doesn’t want me to fix the problem, she wants me to:
  1. Give her my full physical attention
  2. Give her my full mental attention
  3. Listen for the right thing (most of us guys think: I should filter out all the emotion and listen to the facts. But we have it backwards. We need to filter out the facts and focus on how it makes her feel.)
  4. Lastly acknowledge what her feeling is and affirm/sympathize with it (even if we disagree with her thoughts)
Here is a warning it contained:
Don’t Try These at Home!
“How not to listen”
  • Tell her she’s overreacting,
  • Question her version of the facts,
  • Wonder aloud about the time of the month
  • Ask her to quit crying, or
  • Offer spiritual correction (“are you sure you're not just envious?”)
Overall it was VERY worth reading (so much so, that I bought the companion book: For Women Only. for my wife). It even comes with a helpful quick start guide. I hope you take the time to invest in your marriage and read it.

***I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review all opinions are honestly my own.

****The post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Memories Suite in Bundle Packs!

Right now My Memories is having a great sale!  You can get a 3-Pack for $59.99 or a 5-Pack for only $79.99.  That's a huge savings!

 Remember to use this code: STMMMS93581. Enter my giveaway here for a chance to win this program!

~ Potato Cheese Soup ~

One of the hardest things I've found about cooking for 2 is following recipes correctly!  For years I've be so used to doubling or tripling recipes that my mind just does it automatically, especially with recipes that I've made so many times before!  One recent time while I was making this yummy soup I accidentally doubled the milk (only the milk) in the end - not a great idea. :)  It ended up being much to watery (milky, I guess is more like it :).  This is an all time favorite recipe and I hope you'll enjoy it!! This recipe doubles easily and freezes well (unless you put too much milk in it and no one wants to eat it because it tastes funny... :)).

~ Potato Cheese Soup ~  

1 cup (small) chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
5 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dill weed
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup milk
3 cups cheese  (I generally only use 1cup)

Simmer carrots, celery & onions in as little water as possible, until tender.  (They should be covered.) 

While vegetable are cooking, boil the chopped potatoes, until tender (potatoes should be covered) Note** the water for the potatoes should just barely cover the potatoes, if you put too much water the soup will be watery**

When potatoes are tender add  the chicken broth & whip with potatoes & water.

Pour vegetables into potato mixture & simmer together.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add flour, dill weed, salt, & pepper.  Cook until this becomes a paste.

Add the flour mixture to the potatoes & vegetables.  Cook until bubbly.  Add milk & cheese.  Bring to a boil & serve.


What's your favorite soup?  Did you find cooking for 2 a challenge when you got married?

**Remember to enter my Scrapbook Software giveaway while you are here! :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Earning Gift Cards By Using Swagbucks

Being a wife and homemaker I strive to help my family save money every way possible.  I still have much to learn on being frugal but every little thing is one step.  We eat freezer meals and leftovers often to help save on our grocery budget.  I try to use our oven as least as possible to save on propane and electricity - our oven is old and makes our house very warm; good for winter not so good in the summer time. :) I try to keep on only lights that are needed to save on our electricity, etc.  I try to only do full loads of laundry (at this time there's only 3 of us dirtying clothes - so laundry doesn't add up quite as quickly as many families) to save as well.  I love cloth diapers, for health reasons mainly, but also for the huge savings it brings my family!

One recent way I've learned to help our family's budget is by earning reward points using Swagbucks and then cashing them in for Amazon gift cards.  I've had a swagbuck account for about 1 1/2 years but I just recently started using Swagbucks as my main search engine and I have been trying to earn more points daily!

Search & Win

Swagbucks is a free search engine you can use to search the internet and earn reward points.  You can download Swagbucks toolbar and you will get 30 points today just for signing up!  You will also get rewarded 1 swagbuck a day just for using the toolbar!  I've been able to earn about 10-15 swagbucks a day buy simply:

Using the toolbar - 1
Taking the Daily Poll - 1
Daily going through the NOSO offers. - 2
Online searching - 8-10

By earning 15 points a day you could easily earn 1 $5.00 Amazon gift card a month!  If you do more of your searching with Swagbucks and spend more time at it you could probably easily get up to 2 $5.00 gift cards a month!

Many people love earning through taking Swagbucks trusted surveys but I found that they took up too much of my time and that I disqualified for almost of them.  So, it wasn't worth it for me.

Swagbuck points can be cashed in for Amazon gift cards and then used towards your orders!  As everyone knows - Amazon has many great products for great prices and often run sales! :)  I'm saving my amazon cards right now for an inside laundry drying rack; 1 less thing that won't have to come out of our monthly budget!! :)

Swagbucks also has a great referral program!  For every new person you refer you get matching swagbuck points to theirs up to 1,000!  So, if you sign up for swagbucks using any of the links in this post I will get matching swagbucks in my account for every one you earn up to 1,000! :)  I signed up under a referral link and I'm so happy to know I helped her earn points! :)

I do want to assure you that Swagbucks is a safe search engine; it's not nearly as good as (Google will always be my favorite) but swagbucks is safe.  At first I was not so sure about it but after doing a bit of reading and research I felt comfortable trying it!  I've been very happy with the outcome and I hope you will be too if you try it!

Search & Win

P.S. - Today is Mega Swagbucks Friday - you'll often win more in your searches on Fridays! :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cloth Diapering Mommys Wanted for Reviews...

Midnight Mommy is looking for cloth diapering Mommy bloggers to review & test out some cloth diapering products!  Go here to sign up!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Program {Giveaway!}

I'm super excited about this giveaway!  I was so happy when Liz @ My Memories contacted me about reviewing their scrapbooking software!  I love to scrapbook!  I love pictures!  I had never used a digital scrapbooking software before (besides making photo books on Shutterfly, etc.) but I love this program!  

It's super easy to learn and takes almost no time to create fun, exciting, creative, & beautiful scrapbook pages!  This is a scrapbook program but you can do a whole lot more than scrapbook on it.  You can make cards, calenders, invitations, and so much more!
~ A card that I made ~
One of the best features of this program for me is that I don't have to get out any supplies - just open the program on my computer and within a few minutes have my precious memories scrapbooked and ready to print.  All you moms out there know what I mean - I have an always happy-to-help 15 month old and he would just love to "help" with all those papers, stickers & most importantly the pens and scissors! ;-)  I could just imagine what my house would look like! :-) Because I truly haven't wanted to find out what it actually would be like I haven't even tried to take out any of my supplies since my little guy has gotten active! :-)  This is so nice in that way - in March we'll be having another little one and having the time and energy to keep up with both babies and to take out scrapbooking supplies doesn't sounds very easy.  Now I can get my pictures scrapbooked without much time and any mess! :-)

 ~ A spring page ~

My Memories has loads of paper packs in their store!  You know the best part about these paper packs???  You can use them over and over again!  Unlike buying a paper pack at the craft store and then using all your favorite papers up and having to buy more or never get the same papers again - you never run out of these papers!  I think that's another great part of digital scrapbooking!  My favorite part of My Memories paper packs is that they have lots of free ones and they often have great sales!!! : ) 

My Memories also has many embellishments that you can add to your pages!!  Cute stickers, brads (again that you can use over and over again and never run out - or have your baby play with and ruin! :)), ribbons, boxes - everything! : )
 ~ I love the simplicity & fall-ishness of this page ~

You can make a digital scrapbook slideshow with music and all with My Memories too!  Isn't that fun!  Then you just burn it to CDs and you don't have to print anything.  You could make digital scrapbook slideshows for family and friends and give them away too! : )  I'm sure grandparents would love those!

One tiny complaint I have is that the program comes automatically with several paper packs - really neat ones too but it doesn't come with a baby boy pack.  It has a baby girl pack. I have a boy and I would have really loved to have gotten a boy pack as well - still working on trying to pick out my favorite baby boy pack to purchase as they have so many really cute ones! :-)

I got the My Memories V2 and just upgraded to V3 so now I'm looking forward to finding all the new features! :-)

Do you want to try it???  My Memories has offered to giveaway one My Memories Scrapbook Software to one of my readers, a $39.97 value!  (To enter fill out the Rafflecopter form below - comments will not count as entries, unless stated in the Rafflecopter.)
If you can't wait to try out this program all of my readers can use this code (STMMMS93581) at checkout.  You will receive $10.00 off your My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software and an additional $10.00 off coupon for the My Memories store (that's $20.00 off!!)!!!!! 
*To avoid typos copy and paste the code.*   

Hope you win! :-)

Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Winner!!

The winner for the Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Giveaway is: Entry #179 - Heather R!  Congratulations!

Remember to enter my BabyLegs Gift Basket!  Today is the last day to enter!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quick Cinnamon Biscuits {Recipe}

On those cold mornings these make a fast and easy - not too sweet - tasty breakfast!  Going perfectly with a warm cup of tea.  Best part of this recipe is how much these turn out like 'regular' cinnamon rolls without all the time needed to make them! :)  That's a *big* plus for me as the 'morning person' in me is gone after becoming a Mommy! :)

Quick Cinnamon Biscuits
Makes: 1 dozen

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
cinnamon/sugar for topping
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Blend dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Add milk. Roll out and spread with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Roll up and slice. Place in two, round greased baking pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Blend sugar and milk for glaze and pour over warm biscuits. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these if you try them and leave a comment! :)

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